This article was originally published on the UConn Today Web site on August 28, 2012.
By: Stephanie Reitz
People who use mopeds, motor bikes, and scooters to navigate the Storrs campus are returning to find updated regulations and newly designated parking areas for those vehicles.
The new policies were adopted in response to the proliferation of the motorized two-wheelers and the need for those vehicles to coexist safely with pedestrians on a bustling campus.
The new policies include a requirement for those users to register their motorized vehicles with UConn Parking Services and obtain a parking permit. Parking outside of the designated areas could result in fines.
The registration and permit process will also require the owner/operator to pass a short online test.
“When we had a handful of motor bikes, mopeds, and scooters on campus, it was fine to have no real rules,” says William Wendt, UConn’s director of transportation, logistics, and parking. “But now we have visibly more motor bikes, mopeds, and scooter drivers on campus.”
The new policies also address Connecticut fire safety codes, which prohibit gasoline motors of any type – including motorcycles and mopeds – from being parked or stored inside any building on campus.
The new parking areas for motor bikes, mopeds, and scooters will be scattered throughout campus. People who park those vehicles outside of the new areas will receive warning tickets for the first few weeks of the fall semester, but citations will be issued after that initial period.
UConn Parking Services is working to get signage installed at designated parking areas on campus and to produce a new map identifying spots where the mopeds, scooters, and motor bikes can park.
The online test and registration process are also being completed, and regular updates on all facets of the new rules will be posted at www.park.uconn.edu.
The regulations are an effort to reduce the number of space and safety conflicts between pedestrians and the motorized mopeds and scooters, which are categorized as having engines of less than 50 cc (cubic centimeters). Any motor bikes or similar vehicles with larger engines are already governed by the state of Connecticut’s rules on motorcycle operation and registration.
Citations will also be issued on campus to moped, scooter, and motor bike operators who ignore Connecticut driving laws, not just the University’s operating policies.
“We’re treating motor bike, moped, and scooter parking like a regular motor vehicle,” Wendt says. “You wouldn’t expect a car to drive on the sidewalk. You won’t be able to park near the front door of your destination in all cases. People may have to walk a block or so under the new system, but that’s normal for a motorized vehicle on this campus.”
Some simple rules can make life easier for motor bike, moped, and scooter drivers on campus, including:
- Park only in areas designated for motor bikes, mopeds, and scooters.
- Yield to pedestrians crossing sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Obey all traffic laws, like other motor vehicles.